When in Rome (a Look at Romans) – Part 3

Today we take a look at Romans chapter 3, read it and then have a look at my thoughts.

This is one of my favourite chapters of the Bible, as it highlights why my answer is “No” to the question, “Are you religious?”. We as Christians tend to spend so much time trying to do what is right. We spend way more effort to ‘not do what is wrong’ than we spend on doing what Christ has called us to do. Let me explain. Jesus told us to go out, heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. He told us to freely give as freely as we have received! (Matthew 10:8). Now, here is my question, “How much time and effort do you spend on this, and how much time and effort do you spend trying not to sin?”. Ouch. Yes, it hits me too. There are so many discussions about what sin is, we try to justify our sins and point fingers at others who sin. The world is constantly having a go at us because we call something a sin, which they want to do. The bottom line is that we have ALL fallen short. The whole reason for the law, was to show us that we could never fulfil it on our own. The whole reason for the law was to show us that we are all sinners. Why then do we spend so much time trying to live by it?

People get upset with me when I ‘disregard’ scripture because it is in the Old Testament, but I do this because the function of the Old Testament is not to try and follow, but to show us what we have been saved from! Romans 3 sums this up nicely. Most churches spend so much time trying to make people do the right thing, and not do the wrong thing. Most churches are so concerned about whether we are sinning or not. Do you honestly think that the devil is more upset by us ‘refraining from sin’ than he is about us doing what Christ has called us to do? I seriously doubt it. I can honestly say that most Christians (including myself) underestimate what Jesus did on the cross. We underestimate the power and authority that we have in the name of Jesus. We limit the cross to whether or not we will sneak into heaven (if we behave ourselves). It is so much more than this, but that is for another blog post. Today we need to realise that salvation is all about what Jesus did, and whether or not we will accept His gift to us, not how well we behave.

“So does this mean that we can go on sinning?” I am so glad that you asked that question! I heard someone saying that if you never get asked this question, you’re not preaching the gospel correctly. Paul got asked this question a few times, so we’ll get to it at some point, but here is the short answer. No. Sin has its down side, trust me, I’ll go into this in greater detail in the future. The gift of salvation is not based on our sin, it is based on our faith in Jesus. Sin can give the devil a foothold in your life, it can cause us to think that we are outside of God’s love, but it can’t separate us from God. If we have a relationship with Jesus.

Romans 3:27-28. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. There is is, clear as mud, what else do you need? Here is my challenge to us as believers. Let us spend more time doing what we aught to be doing, and not trying not to do what we aught not to be doing. Does that make sense? Let us do what Jesus has asked us to do, let us concentrate on our relationship with Jesus. If we do this, we will naturally want to avoid sin, we won’t just avoid it out of duty. This also means that we will get a lot more done, than just trying desperately not to sin!

Keep up the good work.

Richard

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